Monday, May 7, 2018
Shattering the Martini Glass Ceiling-- Part 2: "Barmaids-For-The-Duration"
These barmaids-for-the-duration" as they were called in 1945 were hired on the condition that they resign as soon as the men came home. That year, the local bartenders union admitted 123 women who "already have donned the apron and taken to swabbing the mahogany." They worked under union rules and earned the Chicago minimum wage of $45 weekly.
And, the women did just fine at their new jobs. They seemed to have the touch. One union boss declared, "When it comes to mixed drinks they appear to have the touch." A man from Decatur said: "Maybe it's their instinctive food mixing ability. Anyway, they can shake or stir up a whiskey sour or cocktail as if they were at home stirring up a cake."